Hazrat Inayat Khan ( July 5, 1882 .. February 5, 1927 ) was born into a princely Muslim Indian family. He was a greatgrandson of Tippu Sultan, the famous eighteenth century ruler of Mysore. Inayat Khan was the founder of “ Universal Sufism ” and “ The Sufi Order International ”. Inayat Khan initially travelled to the West as a representative of several traditions of classical Indian music, having received the title “ Tansen ” from the Nizam of Hyderabad. However, he saw it as his life mission, to introduce and transmit Sufi thought and Sufi practice to the West. His universal message of “ Divine Unity ” .. “ Tawhid ” ..focused on the themes of Love, Harmony, and Beauty. And, he developed a distinctive and effective ability to communicate the highest spiritual truths of Sufism to Western audiences of his day. Inayat Khan was a bridge-builder between cultures and religions, a Master who drew on Vedantaas well as on Islam. He regarded true spirituality as wearing no label, and was a strong advocate of human equality, of the need for human unity as a prerequisite for global peace. His motto was, “ awakening of humanity to the divinity of human-kind ”.
I was born in Baroda, India, in the year 1882, when a great religious reform began, not only in India itself, but the entire world over, and which was the first source of our present day awakening.
I am sure it was the planetary influence which existed at that time that kept me busy all my life in seeking the divine truth, which is as the garment of God’s glory.
“ Music ” and “ Mysticism ” were my heritage from both my paternal and maternal ancestors, among whom was Maula bakhsh, my maternal grand-father, whom people called the “ Beethoven of India ” and whose portrait is in the Victoria and Albert Museum at South Kensington, and Jumma Shah, the great seer of Punjab.
My curiosity about the hidden secrets of nature was early aroused, and I made frequent inquiries concerning the mysteries of religion, such as :
“ Where does God live ? ”
“ How old is God? ”
“ Why should we pray to Him ? ”
“ And why should we fear Him ? ”
“ Why should people die ? ”
“ Where do they go after death ? ”
“ If God has created all, who was the creator of God ? ”
My parents, Rahemat Khan and Khadija Bibi, would patiently answer me in the simplest and most plausible manner possible, but I would prolong the argument until they were wearied. Then, I would ponder upon the same questions.
I was sent to school when quite young, but I fear that I was more inclined to play than to study. I preferred punishment to paying attention to those subjects in which I had no interest.
I enjoyed religion, poetry, morals, logic, and music more than all other learning, and I took music as a special subject at the Academy of Baroda and repeatedly won the first prize there.
I had so much curiosity about strangers, fortune-tellers, fakirs, dervishes, spiritualists, and mystics, that I would very often absent myself from my meals to seek them out.
My taste for music, poetry, and philosophy increased daily, and I loved my grand-father’s company more than a game with boys of my own age. In silent fascination, I observed his every movement and listened to his musical interpretations, his methods of study, his discussions and his conversations.
My attempts at writing poetry without any training in the art of meter and form induced my parents to place me under the tutorship of Kavi Ratnakar, the great Hindustani poet.
I also began to compose, and sang a song of prayer to Ganesh in Sanskrit before. His Highness Sayajirao Gaikwar, Maharaja of Baroda, who rewarded my song with a valuable necklace and scholarship. This encouraged me to advance further in music under the guidance of Maulabaksh.
My kinfolk were Muslim, and I grew up devoted to the Holy Prophet and loyal to Islam, and never missed one prayer of the five which are the daily portion of the faithful.
One evening, in the summer time, I was kneeling on the house-roof, offering my Namaz (prayers) to Allah the Great, when the thought smote me that although I had been praying so long with all trust, devotion, and humility, no revelation had been vouchsafed to me, and that it was therefore not wise to worship Him, that One whom I had neither seen nor fathomed.
I went to my grand-father and told him I would not offer any more prayers to Allah until I had both beheld and gauged Him : “ There is no sense in following a belief and doing as one’s ancestors did before one, without knowing the true reason ”, I said.
Instead of being vexed, Maula Bakhsh was pleased with my inquisitiveness, and, after a little silence, he answered me by quoting a sura of the Quran :
“ We will show them our signs in the world and in themselves, that the truth may be manifested to them. ”
And, then, he soothed my impatience and explained, saying :
“ The signs of God are seen in the world, and the world is seen in thyself. ”
These words entered so deeply into my spirit that from this time every moment of my life has been occupied with the thought of the divine immanence ; and my eyes were thus opened, as the eyes of the young man by Elijah, to see the symbols of God in all aspects of nature, and also in that nature which is reflected within myself.
This sudden illumination made everything appear as clear to me as in a crystal bowl or a translucent jewel. Thenceforth, I devoted myself to the absorption and attainment of truth, the immortal and perfected Grace.
I first studied comparative religions with an open mind .. not in a critical spirit, but as an admirer and a lover of truth in all its guises.
I read the lives of the founders, prophets, and seers with as much reverence as their most devout adherents. This brought me the bliss of realization of one truth, which all religions contain, as different vessels may yet hold the same wine.
It was the conception of truth in all its manifold forms and expressions, ever borne by different messengers, who most wondrously, by their very diversity of garb, civilization, nationality, and age, revealed the one Source of the inspiration. To me, their sole difference was caused by the laws of space and time.
When Maula Bakhsh, my grand-father, died, I was in deep despair. I grieved for a very long time over the loss of my musical guide and inspiration, realizing the uncertainty of this life, and that my own existence was only worth enduring if I could be of some use to the world. I broke down completely, crying : “ Allah ! If our people had lost only their wealth and power it would not have been so grievous to bear, since these temporal things are always changing hands in the mazes of Maya. But, the inheritance of our race, the music of the Divine, is also leaving us through our own negligence, and that is a loss my heart cannot sustain ! ”
I invoked the name of Sharada, the goddess of music, and prayed her to protect her sacred art.
And, thus, it came about that I left my home with the view of creating a universal system of music.
I started out on this mission when I was eighteen years old, and was welcomed at the courts of Rajas and Maharajas who greatly encouraged and rewarded me for my efforts.
From all the leading cities of India I received addresses and medals in recognition and appreciation of my music, and thus increased the number of my friends, pupils, and sympathizers throughout India.
The Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Mahboob Ali Khan, a great mystic ruler of India and a devotee of music and poetry showed me special favor. Several times my playing moved the Nizam to tears .. and when I had done, he asked curiously, what mystery lay in my music ?
Then, answering him, I explained :
“ Your Highness, as sound is the highest source of manifestation, it is mysterious within itself, and whosoever has the knowledge of sound, he indeed knows the secret of the Universe. My music is my thought, and my thought is my emotion... the deeper I dive into the ocean of feeling, the more beautiful are the pearls I bring forth in the form of melodies. Thus, my music creates feelings within me even before others feel it. My music is my religion .. therefore worldly success can never be a proper price for it, and my sole object in music is to achieve perfection. ”
This explanation, together with my playing, charmed the Nizam so much that he presented me with a purse full of golden coins, and placing his own precious emerald ring upon my finger named me “ Tansen ”, after the great Indian singer of the past !
This incident brought me gifts and titles from all parts of India. But honors for myself did not really satisfy me. How could I be content with my own exalted position when my fellow musicians were looked upon with contempt by conservative India ?
To my amazement and horror, all the medals and decorations which I had gathered as emblems of my professional success, and which are a source of pride to me, gained as they were by so much endeavour, enthusiasm, and the labor of many years spent in constant wandering from place to place, were in a single instant snatched away from me, forever.
In a moment of abstraction they were left in a car, which could not be traced despite all my efforts. But in place of the disappointment, which at first oppressed me, a revelation from God touched the hidden chords of my mind and opened my eyes to the truth.
I said to myself :
“ It matters not how much time you have spent to gain that which never belonged to you but which you called your own ; today, you understand it is yours no longer. And, it is the same with all you possess in life .. your property, friends, relations .. even your own body and mind.
“ All that you call ‘ my ’, not being your true property, will leave you, and only that which you name ‘ I ’, which is absolutely disconnected with all that is called ‘ my ’, will remain.
“ Why not go forth and strive for that which is worth gaining in life ? Why not thus attain to true glory, instead of wasting your valuable opportunities in vain greed for wealth, fame, reputation, and those worldly honors which are here today and forgotten tomorrow ? ”
I knelt down and thanked God for the loss of my medals, crying :
“ Let all be lost from my imperfect vision but Thy True Self, Ya Allah ! ”
I then set forth in pursuit of philosophy, visiting every mystic I could on my journeys to different Indian cities.
I travelled through jungles, across mountains, and along river-banks in search of mystics and hermits, playing and singing before them until they also sought my presence.
It was in Nepal, during the pilgrimage of Pashupathinath, that I met a Muni among several sages. He was a Mahatma of the Himalayas and lived in a mountain cave, and untouched by the earthly contact, ambitions, and environments, he seemed to be the happiest man in the world. After I had entertained him with my music he, without seeming to notice, revealed to me the mysticism of sound, and unveiled before my sight the inner mystery of music. I thereafter, met other mystics, with whom I discoursed on different subjects, and whose blessings I obtained through my art.
At Ajmeer, I visited the tomb of “ Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti ”, the most celebrated Sufi saint of India. The atmosphere of his last resting-place was in itself a phenomenon .. a sense of calm and peace pervaded it, and among all that throng of pilgrims, I yet felt as if I were the only one present. At nightfall, I went home and said Tahajud, the midnight prayer.
And Lo ! At the end of my prayers there came to me a ‘ voice ’, as though in answer to my invocations. It was the ‘voice’ of a fakir calling the people to prayer before Sunrise, and he sung:
“ Awake O man, from thy fast sleep !
Thou knowest not that death watcheth thee every moment.
Thou canst not imagine how great a load thou hast gathered to carry on thy shoulders.
And how long the journey yet is for thee to accomplish.
Up ! Up ! The night is passed and the Sun will soon arise ! ”
The unearthly quiet of the hour and the solemnity of the song moved me to tears. Sitting on my rug with my rosary in my hand, I reflected that all the proficiency and reputation which I had achieved were utterly profit-less in regard to my Najat or salvation.
I recognized that the world was neither a stage set up for our amusement nor a bazaar to satisfy our vanity and hunger, but a school wherein to learn a hard lesson. I then chose quite a different path to that which I had followed until then .. in other words, I turned over a new page in my life.
The morning broke and the birds began their hymn of praise to God. I heard men and women pass by below, some going to the mosque, others to the temples, and the general masses to the toil that yields their daily bread.
Then, I too fared forth and, lost in thought, not knowing my destination, made my way towards the jungle, with an inner yearning to be apart from the world and give an outlet to the thoughts and emotions with which my mind was so occupied.
Thus, I arrived at a cemetery where a group of dervishes sat on the green grass, chattering together.
They were all poorly clad, some without shoes and others without coats .. one had a shirt with only one sleeve and another lacked them both. One wore a robe with a thousand patches and the next a hat without a crown. This strange group attracted my attention and I sat there for some time, noticing all that was going on yet feigning to be utterly indifferent.
Presently, their Pir-o-Murshid or Master came towards them, even more scantily dressed than they, and with a group of dervishes circling round him as he approached. Two of the latter led the odd procession, and with each step they cried out loudly :
“ Hosh har dam, nazar har kadam, khalwat har anjuman ! ”
( “ Be conscious of your every breath and watch every step you take .. and thus experience solitude in the crowd ! ” )
The dervishes first sat lost in contemplation, reciting charms one after the other, and then they began their music.
I forgot all my science and technique while listening to their simple melodies, as they sang to the accompaniment of sitar and dholak, the deathless words of the Sufi Masters such as Rumi, Jami, Hafiz, and Shams-i Tabriz.
The rhapsody, which their ecstasies conjured up, seemed to me so strong and vital that the very leaves of the trees seemed to hang spell-bound and motion-less.
My interest in Sufism made me very friendly with the dervishes. I learned to love the sweetness of their nature and the innate perfume of their manner of using music as the Food of the Soul.
I began at first to imitate their habits and methods, and spent a few hours in silence every day.
Once, in a dream, I saw a great gathering of prophets, saints, and sages, all clad in their Sufi garments, rejoicing in the Sama or music of the dervishes. I was absorbed into their blissful state of ecstasy, and when I was aroused I still felt the exultation my vision had brought to me. After this I heard continually, waking or sleeping, an unknown voice which cried to me .. “ Allahu Akbar ! .. God is Great ! ”
I also had visions of a most haunting and spiritual face, radiant with light, during my concentration in the silence, which heightened my interest in mysticism still more, especially as I could not divine its meaning. I feared to ask for its significance lest others might laugh at my fancy and ridicule it. At last, when I could no longer control my impatience, I described my golden vision to a friend who was also a lover of the mystical, and begged him for an interpretation.
He answered that the dream was a symbol of my initiation into the Sufi Order of Chishtiyya Khandan, and the words I heard were the crying of Haqq or Truth, while the vision was the image of my spiritual guide and protector.
He also advised me to undergo the initiation of Sufism, although I had always considered myself undeserving of initiation in that Brother-hood of Purity. But, I had a little courage, hoping I might at least be used as a waste-paper basket that is employed for torn scraps of wisdom, which would quite suffice me.
I visited several Murshids with this purpose, but they made no response, although I had the privilege of studying their various views and methods of teaching.
This experience of different Murshids prepared me for the ideal master, and after six months of continual searching I chanced to visit an old and revered acquaintance, Maulana Khair-ul-mubin, to whom I confided my desire to embrace Sufism.
While reflecting on the matter, he suddenly received a telepathic message that his friend, a Great Murshid, was about to come to him. He at once arranged a seat of honor, placing cushions upon it, and walked towards the gate in order to bid him welcome.
After a period of suspense the Pir- o - urshid .. Mohammad Abu Hashim Madani .. entered, bringing with him a very great sense of light.
As all those present greeted him, bowing down in their humility, it seemed to me all at once that I had seen him before, but where I could not recall.
At last, after gazing at him earnestly, I remembered that his was the face, which so persistently haunted me during my silence ! The proof of this was manifested as soon as his eyes fell on me. He turned to his host, saying :
“ O Maulana, tell me who this young man may be ! He appeals intensely to my spirit ! ”
Maulana Khair-ul-mubin answered :
“ Your holiness, this young man is a genius in music, and he desires greatly to submit himself to your inspiring guidance. ”
Then the Master smiled and granted the request, initiating me into Sufism there and then.
Mohammad Abu Hashim Madani belonged to a distinguished family of Medina, and was a direct descendant of the Holy Prophet.
My joy in him was so great that it found its expression in poetry and music. I had at last found my pearl among men, my guide, my treasure, and beacon of hope. I composed a song and sang it to him, and this I feel certain has brought me all my success and will aid me in my future life.
And this was my song :
“ Thou art my salvation and freedom is mine, I am not ; I melt as a pearl in sweet wine ! My heart, Soul, and self, yea, all these are thine; O Lord, I have no more to offer !
“ I drink of the nectar of truth the divine,
As Moses thy word, as Yusuf they shine
who walk in thy ways ; and Christ is thy sign :
Thou raisest to life everlasting !
“ Thou art as Muhammad to them that repine,
My spirit is purged as the gold from a mine !
I only know that my heart beats with thine, And joys in boundless freedom ! ”
My Murshid greatly appreciated this outburst of love on my part and exclaimed in deep emotion :
“ Be thou blessed with divine light and illuminate the beloved ones of Allah ! ”
From this time, a spiritual attachment between myself and my Murshid was firmly established.
As it grew more and more, it opened up in me the ways of light through my attachment to that inner radiance, which can never be gained through discussion or argument, reading, writing, nor mystical exercises.
I visited him at the expense of all my affairs whenever I felt his call, receiving rays of his ecstasy with bent head, and listening to all he said without doubt or fear.
Thus, the firm faith and confidence I brought to bear upon my meditations prepared me to absorb the Light of the World Unseen.
I studied the Quran, Hadith, and the literature of the Persian mystics.
I cultivated my inner senses, and underwent periods of clairvoyance, clairaudience, intuition, inspiration, impressions, dreams, and visions.
I also made experiments in communicating with the living and the dead. I delved into the occult and psychic sides of mysticism, as well as realizing the benefits of piety, morality, and Bhakti or devotion.
The more I progressed in their pursuit, the more un-learned I seemed, as there was always more and more to understand and acquire. Of all that I comprehended and experienced, I valued most that divine wisdom .. which alone is the essence of all that is best and attainable, and which leads us on from the finite world unto infinitudes of bliss.
After receiving instruction in the five different grades of Sufism, the physical, intellectual, mental, moral, and spiritual, I went through a course of training in the four schools .. the Chishti, Naqshibandi, Qadiri, and Suhrawardi.
I still recall this period, under the guidance of so great and merciful a Murshid, as the most beautiful time of my life. In him, I saw every rare quality, while his unassuming nature and his fine modesty could hardly be equalled even among the highest mystics of the world. He combined within himself the intense spell of ecstasy and constant flow of inspiration with the very Soul of spiritual independence.
His death was as saintly as his mortal life had been. Six months before his end he predicted its coming and wound up all his worldly affairs in order to be freed for his future journey. “ Death is a link which unites friend with Friend unto the Beyond ”, is a saying of Muhammad.
He apologized not only to his relatives, friends, and mureeds, but even to his servants, lest there might be anything that he had done to their displeasure and hurt.
Before the Soul departed from his body he bade farewell to all his people with loving words. And then, sitting upright and unwavering, he continued zikr .. and lost in his contemplation of Allah, he, by his own accord, freed his soul from the imprisonment of this mortal frame forever.
I can never forget the words he spoke while he placed his hands upon my head in blessing :
“ Fare forth into the world, my child, and harmonize the East and the West with the harmony of thy music. Spread the wisdom of Sufism abroad, for to this end art thou gifted by Allah .. the most merciful and compassionate.”
Following my decision and the call of God, I left India in the year 1910, to sojourn in the Western world, strong in the courage of the most blissful command I had received from my Murshid and in the glory of the noble object he had awakened in my Soul.
Naturally, it was a great change in my existence to leave India, the most spiritually awakened land, and start for the West, and especially for America, that modern home of material progress. It was the very opposite of the dream I had just experienced.
It was as if I had gone to sleep at home and had found myself in a bazaar on awakening. But, being a Sufi, I very soon became accustomed to this change of life by attuning myself to my surroundings, and I found that they were indeed true lovers of Duniya, the material world about which Rumi has written in his “ Masnavi ”.
It was very hard for me to keep a balance between my mission and my profession, which were so different from each other. On the one hand, I had to be a teacher, and on the other hand an artist, and especially the interpreter of an art which was so little known abroad.
This could never be understood by a people accustomed only to look at the external aspect of things. It was not as in India where Kabir, the great poet, preached while he sat weaving at his loom .. where Guru Nanak taught within his prison. For some of the greatest teachers the East has produced were also masters of music, such as Narada, Tumbura, Bharata Muni, Tansen, Tukaram, Surdas, Amir Khusrau, Mirabai, Avicenna, and Farabi.
At first, I performed and lectured on music at Columbia University, winning the warm commendation of several professors and students.
This was the beginning of my professional career in the West, and I started on a tour comprising nearly all the well-known cities of the United States, where I spoke at Universities, before intelligent and appreciative audiences, on philosophy, and music. This duality heightened their interest in my work, and as I grew familiar with the American people I began to realize to my joy that, despite their commercial trend and materialistic ambitions, God has not deprived them of that treasure, which is love.
When I arrived in San Francisco, I found much to interest me there, and my desire for the revelation of truth had its outlet.
I have never approved of the idea of mission work, especially at this period of human evolution when a new awakening is imminent all over the world. I escaped the appearance of being a religious zealot or one who wishes to convert people, for I bore that message of universal truth which would harmonize East and West by spreading the idea of unity and which is Sufism.
I spoke at the universities of Berkeley and Los Angeles in California, where my music and my discourses on philosophy, as expressed in the realm of art, attracted much attention. Although my professional tour did not permit me to do, as much as I otherwise could have done, yet, it was the only means of fulfilling my mission, which had no other support than that of God.
After my American journeying, I came to Europe and visited England, where I immediately sought for my own countrymen in the hope of seeing familiar faces once again, as I had beheld so few since leaving India.
But, to my great disappointment, I discovered them to be the very reverse of my expectations .. some seemed to be avoiding their fellow country-men purposely, and the others were set on keeping to their own clique. This revealed a wrong influence of Western culture upon their lives.
At last, by continual effort, I gathered my spiritual fellows from among the Europeans around me, and these proved to be more at one with my Soul than my own people.
I found much more sympathy and response from the English than I had ever expected from them when in India. Their gentle and courteous nature revealed a sharp difference between the Old World and the New.
I appeared several times in public, and eventually before royalty, and thus prepared the ground for sowing the seed of Sufism in England.
A “ Sufi Publishing Society ” was established, a most necessary organ for the propagation and maintenance of the Order, founded with the laudable object of publishing works on both ancient and modern mysticism, philosophy, religion, art, science, literature, and music.
Eventually, I married Ora Ray Baker ( Pirani Amina Begum ) born at New Mexico on 8th May 1892.
In early youth .. Amina Begum .. once, saw near her bed a phantom, an Eastern Sage, who appeared a moment and passed across. She afterwards had a dream, that an Eastern sage held her in his arms and rose towards the sky, and carried her away overseas.
At the same time, with a heart born to admire and respond to everything good and beautiful, a heart, brave to venture anything, I was ready to yield to the call from the maiden who was destined to be my life’s partner.
I perceived in meditation, indications of my future marriage, also visions which showed me the one who was meant to be my wife, and visions in which my Murshid suggested to me that the life to come was a necessary one towards my future life’s purpose.
Amina Begum became the mother of my four children .. Noor-un-Nisa (1913), Vilayat (1916), Hidayat (1917) and Khair-un-Nisa (1919).
In spite of the vast difference of race and nationality and custom, she proved to be a friend through joy and sorrow, proving the idea, which I always believed, that outer differences do not matter when the spirit is in atonement. The tests that my life was destined to go through were not of a usual character, and were also not a small trial for her.
A life such as mine, which was so wholly devoted to the cause, and which was more and more involved in the ever growing activities of the Sufi Movement, naturally kept me back from that thought and attention which was due to my home and family.
Most of the time of my life I was obliged to spend out of home, and when at home, I have always been full of activities, and it naturally fell upon Amina Begum always to welcome guests with a smile under all circumstances.
If I had not been helped by Amina Begum, my life, laden with a heavy responsibility, would have never enabled me to devote myself entirely to the Sufi Movement as I have. It is by this continual sacrifice that she has shown her devotion to the Cause.
My journey to Paris was more for music than for philosophy. Through the kind efforts of such friends as Debussy, the famous composer, I was able to carry out my mission through the medium of my art with great success.
As my long stay in the West, as well as my close friendship with several musical scholars, had trained my ear to Western music, I especially appreciated that of France, which is so full of love and emotion.
My visit to Russia struck another chord in my nature, for it recalled the East to me again.
I found the people open both to modern progress and ancient thought. I met the leading musicians, poets, and literary men, who proved to be absorbed in their work, appreciative, kind, and hospitable, all of which promises much for their national advancement.
Their voice cultivation and keen interest in all aspects of art especially pleased me. This concern shown by many prominent Russians made a lasting impression upon me.
I also found there the Eastern type of discipleship which is natural to the nation where religion and self-sacrifice are still in existence, although the bigotry of the Orthodox Church stands in the way of the highest spiritual awakening.
The Sufi movement is a group of people, belonging to different religions, who have not left their religions but, have learned to understand them better .. and their love is in life, as the love for God and humanity, instead of for a particular sect.
The principal work that the Sufi movement has to accomplish is to bring about a better understanding between East and West and between the nations and races of this world.
And, the note that the Sufi message is striking at the present time is the note which sounds the divinity of the human Soul .. to make human beings recognize the divinity in the human Soul.
If there is any moral principle that the Sufi movement brings, it is this :
“ The whole humanity is as one body .. and any organ of that body, hurt or troubled .. can cause trouble to the whole body, indirectly. And, as the health of the whole body depends on the health of each part, so the health of the whole humanity depends upon the health of every nation. ”
Besides this, to those who are awakening and feel that now is the moment .. when they feel inclined to know about the deeper side of life, of truth .. to them the Order extends a helping hand .. without asking to what religion, sect, or dogma, they belong.
The Knowledge of the Sufi is helpful to every person, not only in living his life aright, but in his own religion.
The Sufi movement does not call man away from his belief or church .. it calls man to live it. In short, it is a movement intended by God to unite humanity in brother-hood, in Wisdom.
The central theme of the Sufi Message is one simple thing, and yet most difficult, and that is to bring about in the world the realization of the divinity of the human Soul, which hitherto has been overlooked, for the reason that the time had not come.
The principal thing that the message has to accomplish in this era is to create the realization of the divine spark in every Soul, that every Soul .. according to its progress .. may begin to realize for itself the spark of divinity within. This is the task that is before us.
The whole humanity is as one single body, and all nations and communities and races as the different organs, and the happiness and well-being of each of them is the happiness and well-being of the whole body. If there is one organ of the body in pain, the whole body has to sustain a share of the strain of it. That by this message, mankind may begin to think that his welfare and his well-being is not in looking after himself, but it is in looking after others, and when in all, there will be reciprocity, love and goodness towards another, the better time will come.
“ The need of the world today is not learning, but how to become considerate towards one another. To try and find out in what way happiness can be brought about, and in this way to realize that peace which is the longing of every Soul .. and to impart it to others, thereby attaining our life’s goal, the sublimity of life. ”
Inayat Khan had been a tireless teacher, writer, and lecturer travelling and lecturing almost continuously for seventeen years.
He had established his school in France, and had a dedicated group of disciples. But, his difficult schedule had weakened him over the years.
Inayat Khan left for India to see his homeland for the first time in seventeen years. He hoped to rest and meditate, but was asked to lecture and graciously consented as was common.
He died of influenza in New Delhi in the year 1927.
Source : “ The Divinity of the Human Soul ” and “ www.wahiduddin.net ”